If you love to solve problems using critical-thinking skills and get a sense of fulfillment when you build something from the ground up, becoming a front-end developer could be the perfect career for you.
Web development is a booming industry, and the demand for developers is high. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know to launch your career as an entry-level front-end developer.
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What Is A Front-End Developer?
What Does A Front-End Developer Do?
With technological advancement over the past few years, coding and programming have become increasingly popular. Front-end developers are passionate about designing and testing, and they impart web designs via multiple programming languages and frameworks. A front-end developer has the objective of designing a website in an easy-to-understand format, where users can easily access information.
Though web developers don’t necessarily need to know web design in detail, front-end developers have to be mindful of various design aspects while developing a website. For example, there are devices of different sizes with varying screen sizes and resolutions; a web developer should make sure that their webpages are compatible with all of them.
- Web Browsers: A web browser is a software used to present and retrieve information on the world wide web. These browsers run on computers, tablets, and phones; however, browsers can also be found in cars, fridges, and TVs now. Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge are the most common web browsers.
- Headless Browsers: Headless browsers are web browsers that are used without a graphical user interface but can provide automated control of a webpage. Headless Chromium and Zombie are the most common headless web browsers. They are typically used for automating tasks, scripts, and User Interface tests.
- WebView: WebView is used in viewing the contents of a link. This is commonly used in mobile devices, where switching back and forth between a web browser and an app currently being used could be a painful experience. The most common solutions for WebView development are Cordova, NW.js, and Electron.
Should You Become A Front-End Developer?
If the thought of building user-friendly webpages excites you, then chances are that front-end development is for you. Front-end development can be a very rewarding career in the technology industry for more than just the fact that you can build web pages and apps.
- It Promises Employment: If you’ve taken up web development, rest assured that you’ve chosen wisely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 160,000 web developers employed in the US, and this number is expected to grow by 13% through 2028.
- You Can Work for Yourself: The ability to work for yourself from wherever you want has become a privilege that’s captivated today’s generation. To be your own boss is a tempting thought, that’s for sure! And as a front-end developer, you can enjoy that luxury. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, and a drive to get clients.
Responsibilities of an Entry-Level Front-End Developer
When you’re starting your career, you’ll want to know what’s expected of you in your role. Of course, every business you work for will be different, but your tasks will follow these similar responsibilities.
- A front-end developer codes instructions for a webpage and ensures that the right content is displayed in the right place.
- What matters in front-end development is the display. Front-end developers have to make sure that they use the right font size, borders, image positioning, and background colors.
- A developer is entrusted with creating interactive elements like scrolling panels, clickable elements, and everything that makes users perform the desired actions on the website.
The following are some of the responsibilities that you will frequently find listed in an entry-level front-end developer job ad:
- Assist the development team in maintaining multiple websites
- Implement front-end technical solutions to meet project requirements
- Ensure projects comply to correct technology processes
- Conduct research and assist with new business scoping efforts
Languages Entry-Level Front-End Developers Need to Know
- HTML: HyperText Markup Language, or HTML, is also known as the universal language of the internet. This is used in websites to make the content visible and viewable. With familiarity using HTML, you will be able to instruct webpages what to do, and what content to display, such as videos, images, and tables. For a beginner, HTML is a good programming language to start with.
- CSS: CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, tells your website how it should look to end-users. This programming language is used to create webpage layouts that were coded using HTML. CSS is typically used by front-end developers to implement the back-end design. Though CSS is more complex than HTML, it is a recommended skill that every front-end developer should acquire. CSS allows you to change the layout of a webpage, including fonts, colors, and the size of web elements.
How to Get Your First Front-End Developer Job
Understanding front-end development is the first step. Next, you’ll probably want to find a job! Here are our tips and tricks to help you land your first web development job.
- It’s vital to have your own website to showcase your skills. Before you start applying for entry-level jobs, you should create a website and use your time and skills to make it creative and comprehensive. Your website will be a testimony to your web development skills, so make sure it’s something you’re proud of.
- You should add a portfolio of your best projects to your website. Make sure that your portfolio is visually appealing.
- Though experience is not needed in entry-level jobs, prior experience as a freelancer can make your profile stronger. Look for freelance projects that interest you to build your portfolio, don’t worry about the money right away. You may even choose to continue down this path with higher-paying roles once you get the hang of freelancing.
- Consider volunteering. Remember, even a small assignment can contribute positively to your portfolio.
- It’s important to know that technical skills alone cannot help you land a job you’ll love. Non-technical skills are also equally important. You need to be able to communicate effectively with clients. So, it’s important that you have strong written and verbal communication skills.
- Once you have your website and portfolio, write a professional cover letter tailored to the job you’re applying for. A good website is likely not enough!
Understanding these points is important to set yourself up for success in the job field. It may seem like a lot of work to get started, but it’ll all be worth it when you land your dream job.
If you’re still unsure of how to gain all of the knowledge necessary to thrive as a front-end developer, you should consider taking one of the courses listed below.
- Software Engineering: This course is the fastest and most sure-fire way to start your career as a high-paid front-end developer. It’s a fast-tracked course that teaches you all of the necessary skills needed to succeed, and also provides you with 1-on-1 mentorship and guidance.
Thinkful is so confident that you’ll get a job that you’ll love once you graduate, that you don’t have to pay a cent until you land your first job. So, if you’re serious about starting a career in web development, this is the course for you.
- Web Design Certification: If you’re looking to add more experience to your resume, this course will give you a deeper understanding of web design. It’s a well-designed course that you can do from the comfort of your home. Also, it has a design first, code second approach; so it’ll be an interesting perspective to learn from.
How Much Do Front-End Developers Make?
According to indeed.com, a junior front-end developer in the U.S. earns an average salary of $60,245 per year. With that being said, your salary will increase as you gain experience in the industry, and many front-end developers end up making 6 figures after a few years in the field.
If you want more guidance on your journey to becoming a successful front-end developer, our team is here to help you. You also might want to read about a day in the life of a web developer to get an even better idea of what to expect moving forward.
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